On January 24, 2019, Laura Smalley and Chris Palermo participated in a “Virtual Roundtable” webinar organized by the Westchester Biotech Project. This webinar was entitled, “Intellectual Property Issues for Bioinformatics and Health Information Management Entrepreneurs: Innovation and Ownership of Data, Computer Code and Apps.”
The field of bioinformatics involves focusing on biology at a molecular level, then using applied math, computer science and statistics to understand and organize these molecules, yielding data and discoveries that may not be adequately captured in a patent classification system developed in 1971.
The definition of patentable subject matter – a new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter – does not include the compilation of a database nor basic laws of biology, even if specific methods and applications are eligible for a patent. So how can entrepreneurs best protect the IP that may hold valuable clues to treating disease and enhancing quality of life?
The webinar explores how digital innovation and ownership is protected. It reviews the current patent landscape in areas of innovation for biotechnology: the manipulation of data, the creation of code for bioinformatics and the creation of apps.